The tech stork just dropped off LG's new 19-inch L197WH monitor, which the company claims has a contrast ratio of 10,000:1. That's a pretty spectacular number given the highest we've seen previously came from LG's 5,000:1.
The extra 5,000 points is the result of LG's "f-Engine" image processing system. Apparently it's utterly brilliant at making blacks blacker and whites whiter--like Daz washing powder, but in monitor form. Other specs include a 2ms response time, 300cd/m2 brightness, 1,440x900-pixel native resolution and 170-degree viewing angle.
We've been testing one all morning, and we don't believe the hype. Ultimately it doesn't appear to provide much benefit over the L226WTQ. It might be twice as good to a spectrographic encephalograph doohickey, but to our puny human eyes the perceived contrast is about the same as most modern displays.
That's not to say it's bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. Blacks are very black, whites are very white, and there's none of the faded, washed out effect you get in some low-end screens. Plus it does all this without the use of a reflective coating on the panel, so it deserves a pat on the back.
The monitor itself is very attractive--the bezel is thin, and it has a dual-hinge system that allows you to adjust the height and angle of the screen. You can buy one now for 168 pounds (about $335).